For many centuries, the Cherokee have practiced a traditional life-way known as Ga-Du-Gi (helping the community). Community members in need of help often receive assistance without a request from other tribal members. This assistance may include tending a garden, fixing a roof, yard clean up, etc.
The Cherokee Day of Caring is a daylong community event that reflects the spirit of Ga-Du-Gi, and this year’s event was held on Thursday, May 18. Approximately 250 EBCI and community members volunteered by assisting ten families or individuals in particular need that were nominated by their respective community clubs.
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and the Office of the Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, collaboratively sponsored this 13th annual event.
The Cherokee Day of Caring Committee also honored ten “Quiet Heroes” who have served their communities unselfishly, and presented a “Good Neighbor” Award to a nontribal member who significantly helped members of the EBCI.
“We are proud to celebrate the 13th annual Cherokee Day of Caring event, because it epitomizes this community’s giving spirit and compassion for one another,” said Cherokee Preservation Foundation Executive Director Bobby Raines.
Day of Caring Projects included: Towstring – Robert Mathews, Big Cove – Geneva Watty, Yellowhill – Al Lossiah, Painttown – Carol Junaluska McAbee, Big Y – Becky Ensley, Wolftown – Robert Queen, Birdtown – Mary Fuller Lambert, 3200 Acre Tract – Ronald Walker, Snowbird – Yvonne Teesateskie, Cherokee County – Phillip Haigler, and Overflow Volunteer Project: Island Park Bridge.
The Quiet Heroes & Good Neighbor Awards went to: Towstring – Glenda Matthews, Big Cove – Perry Shell, Yellowhill – Roy Teesatuskie, Painttown – Sharlotte Queen Jackson, Big Y – Brianna Lambert, Wolftown – Judy Castorena, Birdtown – Janice Sutton, Snowbird – Janelle Rattler, Cherokee County – Carol Hogsed; and Good Neighbor – Sean Grady (the Good Neighbor is a non EBCI Tribal member who gives of themselves unselfishly to benefit the entire Tribe).
– Cherokee Preservation Foundation